Philippe Clement in Roofe and Lovelace hint for Rangers

Philippe Clement in Roofe and Lovelace hint for Rangers
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 13: Zak Lovelace of Rangers FC is seen during the team's victory during the Cinch Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Philippe Clement has given a curious admission about Kemar Roofe, and explained that the perennially-injured Rangers striker will miss Kilmarnock tomorrow, despite putting him on the bench v Hearts due to a lack of striking options.

Revealing that there’s been no new injuries, Clement appeared to slightly backtrack on his earlier claim that he needed him on the bench due to lack of alternative options, which could point to significant progress on the Abdallah Sima and Rabbi Matondo fronts.

Speaking at his pre-Killie presser, the manager suggested that Roofe’s absence from the squad tomorrow night will ‘create a chance for another player’ which is an interesting 180 on his stance pre-Hearts where he said Roofe was on the bench because of a lack of other options.

Does this point to quicker recoveries for the Welshman or Senegalese?

Or… more tellingly, does it mean a place on the bench for Zak Lovelace, who is being spoken about a lot in Rangers circles at the moment? The youngster, who had a strong performance v Dundee for the B side yesterday, is one Clement is said to rate highly and he could be on the cusp of a promotion to the senior side if his progress continues.

And with Roofe not to feature tomorrow, having only lasted 45 minutes yesterday, Lovelace has a real chance of getting his foot in the door.

At just 18, the teenager has a lot of promise, and just like Roofe, while English-born, he’s Jamaica-eligible and may well opt to play for them in time.

But for now, it does seem like Clement is content with Roofe not being involved tomorrow, and maybe Lovelace’s time is coming under the Belgian.

Only 18 but showing bags of quality, this is one to watch for.

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